NORWICH – The city’s Planning Commission held a third public hearing Monday night – focusing on transportation and infrastructure – as it continues its review and update of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan.
Planning and Community Development Specialist Todd Dreyer’s hour-long presentation addressed a number of achievements and significant events that have occurred since the plan’s major revision in 2003, as well as the issues, opportunities and challenges the city will face moving forward.
In 2005 and 2006, the city experienced several significant flood events, according to the 2011 update and rough draft of the comprehensive plan. Citing flood damage, the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad announced an embargo of its Utica branch which, at the time, passed through both the city and county. In 2008, NYS&W formally applied to the Surface Transportation Board for a discontinuance of service, said Dreyer, who called the railway corridor a “significant aspect of transportation” and “a big part of the city’s past.”
It’s important, he added, for some sort of decision to be made – in regards to the rail line – in the next two to three years, as its future would have a profound impact on the city and county’s industrial development options.